Just got an interesting email from Fish Alaska magazine and thought I would share it here. The "forward link" at bottom of email is my permission to share it here. Sounds like even more limits on halibut fishing is on the table.
Please lend us your ear for a brief moment. New legislation is being proposed that WILL affect you.
In February of this year, about 35% of the halibut charter fleet in Alaska was eliminated by a federally mandated moratorium. Now, in addition to that, a Catch Sharing Plan has been submitted that will take away as much as 40% more of the available halibut quota from the sport fleet (a 70% reduction overall). Right now, recreational fishermen (that means you and me) are allowed two fish per day of any size. If the rule passes and you use the services of a guide, your daily limit will drop to one fish per day- and possibly even less, if the maximum size limit is enforced.
The share taken from sport fishing interests (again, you and me) is reallocated to the commercial share,meaning this proposed ruling does NOT conserve halibut. It would only redistribute fishing rights from individuals and charters to commercial fleets and fisheries.
This ruling should concern anyone who fishes for halibut in Alaska for their own personal enjoyment and use. In fact, all of us who live and work in Alaska and who care about the Alaskan economy should be incensed. This ruling will affect how we feed our families, it will change the nature and spending habits of tourists in Alaska and it has the potential to decimate an essential part of Alaska's fishing industry.
What are we going to do?
The public comment period of 45 days ends on September 6th, giving us little time to review the rule and organize a response, but we can still make our voices heard.
Learn. You can read the "Halibut Catch Sharing Plan" or visit the Alaska Charter Association, where you can print, fax or mail a sample comment letter.
Write. Address comments to: Glenn Merrill, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668 or Fax: 907-586-7557. In your letter, reference federal rule #0648-BA37 and ask them to support the status quo.
Letters must be received before the comment period ends September 6th.
Donate. You can make a donation through the ACA website linked above and contribute to the battle to preserve the recreational halibut fishery.
Reach out. Forward this to your friends who care about the sport fishing industry in Alaska and encourage them to take action.
You can also contact the following people to ask questions, make comments and fax or email letters:
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Chief Administrator
Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of Commerce
Alaska residents: Governor Sean Parnell, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Mark Begich, Rep. Don Young.
Contact information at: www.electedlist.com/Alaska.html
Thank you for your time. At Fish Alaska Magazine, we take our responsibility to the sportfishing public very seriously. We feel it would be remiss of us if we did not bring these changes to your attention.
Fish Alaska Magazine